Cripple Creek at the Trip Inn


Hey blog world! Last Saturday night was pretty big! My parents and I had a night out together. We went to the Trip Inn, a lounge on Long Shore road in Kelligrews to see the band, Cripple Creek. It was my first time ever in a club.

I’d been looking forward to it ever since I heard we were going but at the same time, I was nervous and anxious too. Nervous that something may happen to me or my drink. I was glad that both my parents would be there with me. When we got there, I was still anxious and nervous, but as the band started playing I was able to relax. Music always helps me calm down.

The band is absolutely amazing! Each member is so incredibly talented! The best way I can think of to describe Brant Parsons, the drummer of the band is Animal from “The Muppets” in human form! Words cannot describe the crazy, awesome spectacle that is watching him play! I loved that he threw in a few tricks from time to time too, spinning his drumsticks and throwing them in the air and catching them!

Cyril Drover and Toby Martin are the guitarists of the band. Cyril is on the electric guitar and Toby plays bass. They are both fantastic performers! I was absolutely astounded by Cyril! I couldn’t get over how fast his fingers were flying on the guitar! Don Brenton plays guitar as well and is the lead singer of the band. He’s got a really nice, velvety voice.

During their first few songs, I sat at the table with mom and dad, but when I heard the opening guitar riff to “You May Be Right” by Billy Joel, I shot like a rocket out of my chair and got mom to get out on the floor and dance with me! That is one of my all-time favorite songs! It brings me back to when I was a little girl. Back then I was pretty much obsessed with that song! Dad used to sing it to me before bed, I had it on a CD and listened to it all the time and I sang it everywhere I went, even the checkout line at Sobey’s! To this day, I still love that song and go crazy dancing whenever I hear it! This was one of my favorite parts of the night!

After that, it was hard to get me off the dance floor! I had so much fun dancing with mom and dad and a few new friends I made that night.

I got to talk to the band during the break after their first set. They are really cool and very down to earth. I was a little lost for words at first (which means you’re a pretty big deal in my eyes! I’m not speechless very often!) but they didn’t mind. After talking to them for a bit, Don gave me a guitar pick!!! That was so nice of him! Thank you very much for that!

I was very pleasantly surprised to hear some country music in their second set! I love classic rock, but I love country slightly more! They played “Love Somebody” by Keith Urban and “Chicken Fried” by the Zach Brown Band. They did a great job! They sound amazing no matter what style of music they perform! I wonder if they have ever played anything by my favorite country singer, Brad Paisley?

Canada lost a true legend the other day, Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip. One of my favorite Hip songs is “New Orleans Is Sinking” so I asked them to play it for me and they did! It sounded awesome! Gord would have been proud.

After the second set, we started getting ready to go home. It was close to 1:30, and though I am a night owl who stays up late most weekends (I perform at open mic nights at various places throughout CBS almost every weekend and sometimes don’t get home until midnight or 1:00 or shortly after), mom and dad were getting tired so they said it was time to go. Before we left, I got a picture with the band!

Cripple Creek

I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience at the Trip Inn and absolutely loved Cripple Creek! Rock on guys! I hope to see you perform again soon!

Leah

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Musical Meandering Round 2


Hey blog world! A few months ago, I published a post called “Musical Meandering“. It’s said that the music you listen to can reveal a lot about you, so I set my iPod to shuffle, listened to the first 20 songs and wrote my favorite lyric from each to see what it would reveal about me. I enjoyed that so much I thought I’d do it again tonight! Here it goes!

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, 5 golden touques, 4 pounds of back bacon, three french toast, two turtlenecks and a beer in a tree!

We’ll all be gone for the summer, we’re on safari to stay. Tell the teacher we’re surfin’, surfin’ USA

Some glad morning when this life is over, I’ll fly away to a home on God’s celestial shore

If they freed me from this prison, if that railroad train was mine, bet I’d move it all a little further down the line.

Brian Tobin went to town said now listen to me, forget the cabinet shuffle John I think we’ve had enough, get everybody on the floor doin’ the Newfie stomp

No matter, I can live with you

The body’s a temple, that’s what we’re told. I’ve treated this one like an old honkytonk

We’re always happy, life’s for living and that’s our philosophy

Pampers melt in a Maytag dryer, crayons go up one drawer higher, rewind Barney for the 18th time, breakfast 6:00 naps at 9:00. There’s bubblegum in the babies hair, sweet potatoes in my lazy chair!

Some believe in destiny and some believe in fate. I believe that happiness is somethin’ we create.

Let it rain on my window pane I’ve got my own rainbow and we’re sittin’ here shinin’ watchin’ Scotty grow

I got the one I love beside me, my troubles behind me. I’m alive and I’m free, who wouldn’t wanna be me.

Stars, in your multitudes, scarce to be counted, filling the darkness with order and light. You are the sentinence, silent and sure keeping watch in the night.

I’m your Yankee Doodle Dandy in a gold Rolls-Royce

Sing out for yourselves for you are blessed. There is not one of you who cannot win the kingdom. The slow, the suffering, the quick, the dead.

7 little peas with liver and onions, guess who got no groceries!

If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten and that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing!

Luck is believing you’re lucky that’s all, and showing just a little bit of faith

I see them magazines workin’ that photoshop, we know that sh*t ain’t real, come on now make it stop.

God made lots of people in all colors, shapes, and sizes. He loves them very much and what we need to realize is that calling people names because they’re different is wrong. Instead we need to look on them in love.

It comes as no surprise to me that a lot of the lyrics on this list have to do with happiness and acceptance. I’m a very optimistic person who always looks on the bright side of things and overall loves life and I believe that everyone on this earth is equal and should be accepted for who they are! What does the music on your iPod say about you??

Leah

Song credits:

“12 Days of Christmas” – Bob & Doug McKenzie

“Surfin’ USA” – The Beach Boys

“I’ll Fly Away” – The Statler Brothers

“Folsom Prison Blues” – Johnny Cash

“Doin’ The Newfie Stomp” – Roy Payne

“I Can Live With That” – “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”

“Living In Fast Forward” – “Kenny Chesney”

“In The Summertime” – “Mungo Jerry

“Mr. Mom” – Lonestar

“Something More” – Sugarland

“Watching Scotty Grow” – Bobby Goldsborro

“Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me” – Keith Urban

“Stars” – “Les Misérables”

“Elected” – Alice Cooper

“Hosanna” – “Jesus Christ Superstar”

“10 Little Onions” – Snook

“Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” – “Spamalot”

“The Motown Song” – Rod Stewart

“All About That Bass” – Meghan Trainor

“I Can Be Your Friend” – VeggieTales

Starbucks Kenmount Road


Hey, blog world! Driving in the car with mom today, I realized something. I do a lot of restaurant reviews here on my blog and I usually do them as soon as I get home from the restaurant. There is one café that I’ve been frequenting for a while now that I have yet to review! It’s a really great little place too, I don’t know why I haven’t done this sooner! Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the Starbucks on Kenmount Road (adjoined to Chapters)!

I have been coming to this Starbucks regularly for about two years now I believe. Last summer I started coming in on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to kill time before heading off to work at Spirit of Newfoundland, I did the same this summer and now this fall it’s become my classroom! I’m an Early Childhood Education Student at College of the North Atlantic and am taking most of my classes by distance education. I only have to come to campus for one class on Thursday afternoons. In the mornings before school, I pop in for a cup of tea, and WiFi that actually works!!! At CONA it’s on again off again, I can’t get any work done and it’s very infuriating!

The shop itself is nice. It’s a small, intimate space.  A perfect little spot to sit down and relax with a newspaper and a cup of coffee, or in my case, do schoolwork. I really like that it’s attached to a Chapters bookstore, there’s nothing better than a cup of tea and a good book!

I like the music they have on. Jazz, folk, nothing too crazy. The tunes are all very mellow. Hearing Cat Stevens over the loudspeakers at Starbucks really helps me chill out and relax and makes getting my work done a bit easier and less stressful.

The baristas are very friendly. There are two in particular that I really like seeing. One of them is Laura, and the other, I have actually yet to learn her name! You know who you are barista with the awesome blue streaks in your hair and I’m sorry I don’t know your name yet! Anyway, these two are almost always working when I come in and always greet me with a smile and are very friendly. When I’d come in during the summer they would ask me how work was going and now we talk about school. I love it when employees get to know their regular customers enough to strike up conversations. It shows they care about their customers. I really like chatting with the girls in the mornings. It gets my day off to a great start.

Starbucks is a coffee shop but I don’t like coffee. That wipes out a lot of the menu options for me, but that’s ok. I’m perfectly happy with my cup of peppermint tea! That is my favorite drink on the menu. It not only smells amazing but has such a refreshing taste. I order this almost every time I come here! I’ve become such a regular that the baristas know my order!

I also love the hot chocolate at Starbucks! That being said, I only order it on rare occasions. There is a lot of cow’s milk in it (it’s steamed milk with vanilla and mocha-flavored syrups and sweetened whipped cream) and I can’t have very much cow’s milk very often. When I do allow myself that treat I always get a tall (small) and enjoy every sip. The sweetened whipped cream is absolutely amazing and the hot chocolate is so rich, creamy and delicious! If only they could make one with steamed goat milk so I could order it more often.

Starbucks inside Chapters on Kenmount Road is, in my opinion, one of the best coffee shops in St. John’s! 5/5 stars! I look forward to coming back again next week!

Leah

Learning From A Distance


Hey blog world! This year is my second year of the Early Childhood Education program at CONA and I’m trying something new with my courses. I’m taking the majority of them through distance education. It wasn’t my personal choice and I wouldn’t have opted for it had I had the choice, but I’m giving it a go and making the best of it.

I was supposed to do my second level courses in the classroom with my classmates, but I failed my first level field placement term last year and have to repeat it. Because there are scheduling conflicts between the first and second level field placement term, I was not able to do my second level courses in the classroom so I am doing them on my laptop.

I like the freedom and flexibility that comes with distance learning. I get to sleep in rather than having to get up at ungodly hours of the morning to get to school on time! Also, I can do school from wherever I feel like. Yesterday it was done in my room on my bed with my cat (Prince Ozzy is my study buddy), today Starbucks was my classroom! That being said, I do wish I could be in the classroom learning from a teacher.

I’m taking four courses through distance, Advanced Behavior Guidance, Workplace Writing, Child Development Level 3 and Community Resources. I’m finding Child Development III is the hardest of them all. So many different ages and stages and things to remember!!! But I’m trying my best.

I do school for 4 hours every day. Two hours of one subject, a break for lunch, then two hours of another subject. Once my four hours of schooling is done, I reward myself with something, usually an episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”. Having that to look forward to keeps me motivated to do my work.

Assignments thankfully aren’t piling up as fast as they were last year which is a relief! Even so, there are a few on my plate right now but I’m almost finished them! I’m happy that they are only journal entries, nothing too complex or difficult.

Learning through distance is going to be quite an interesting adventure for me. I doubt it will be easy, but I’m up for the challenge! Have you ever taken any courses through distance education? What did you think of it? Tell me in the comments!

Summer 2017


Hey blog world! It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over! Counting today there are just three days left! Holy firetruck! No question, this has been the best summer I’ve ever had! So many awesome things happened!

As I always do, I spent my summer working at Spirit of Newfoundland! Doing so is always the highlight of my summer! I love my job and the people I work with! Every Tuesday and Thursday morning I woke up happy and excited and I couldn’t wait for 12:30 (my shift start time) to come! Every work day was a new adventure! I met so many cool people (Petrina Bromely, Zach Werner, Nathan Stanley, Julia Dunne) and did lots of things. I polished the silverware, set the tables, folded napkins, transcribed scripts, I even got to go on a “field trip” to the Holy Heart to put 20th anniversary gala info cards inside the programs for “Mamma Mia!” Tomorrow is my last day and I’m sad about that. I’ll really miss everybody while I’m at school.

I also did a lot of babysitting. The two young boys I looked after were a handful at times, but I always had lots of fun with them! They are into a lot of the same things as I am which is awesome! When I’d come over to hang out with them we’d play board games, build LEGO sets and bake! Three of my favorite things to do!

Every Wednesday morning I went to the jam session at the SUF Hall in Topsail.  I’m really going to miss that when I return to school too. It was so nice to get to spend one morning a week singing and dancing! What I really like about the jam is that anything goes, so many different styles of music are performed! There’s country,  classic rock, Irish/Newfoundland, folk, even hula! We have some amazing musicians and singers at the jam and hearing them never ceases to amaze me! For example, my friend Jim Greenland is an uncanny soundalike for Marty Robbins! Close your eyes and you’d swear Marty was singing! It’s unbelievable!

I saw so many spectacular concerts and musicals this summer! Out of everything that I saw my favorites were Theatre St. Johns’s production of “Mamma Mia” (it was even better than Broadway!) and An Evening With Andrew Lloyd Webber, Spirit of Newfoundland’s “The Young And The Rest Of Us: 20 Years of Spirit In Revue” and Big Spirit Reunion Gala, and Erin Winsor’s “Quarter Life Crisis”.

I was lucky enough to get to attend all three nights of the Spirit of Newfoundland gala! I’m an artist in my spare time and I sell my paintings to raise money for the Masonic Temple Restoration Fund. I was allowed to set up a table during all three nights of Spirit’s gala to sell my paintings to people coming to see the show! I had lots of fun, got to talk to lots of people and made a lot of money for the Masonic. I know people affiliated with Spirit will be reading this post, so I will not reveal just how much I made this year. Tomorrow I’ll be presenting Spirit of Newfoundland with the check and I can’t wait!!

A few weeks ago, I reconnected with some old friends. I was sitting in the Avalon Mall food court eating my lunch just like I always do before work. I had just finished my flatbread sandwich when all of a sudden, I saw my friend Luke come into the mall, followed by my friends Matthew, Daniel, Emily, Katie, Eric and many, many more! There was literally an onslaught of Special Olympians swarming into the mall! I couldn’t believe it! My heart overflowed with happiness as each person came in through the door! I don’t get to see any of them anymore because I took a hiatus from Special Olympics to focus on school so getting to see them all in the mall that day made my day! I went around to each of them to give them a hug say hello and how much I missed them and catch up on what’s been going on in their lives since I’d seen them last. Thank you so much to the organizers of Vera Perlin summer camp for planning an outing to the movies that day!!!

I also got to spend time with friends from out of the province. When I was really young (I think about maybe 5 years old or so) I used to have play dates all the time with a boy named Nathaniel. He’s the son of one of my mom’s former co-workers. I say former because his family moved to Nova Scotia. Earlier this month they came back home for a wedding! I was so excited when mom told me that they were coming! I couldn’t wait to see them again! When mom and I got to their house, I recognized Nathaniel’s parents Tracy and Al (they haven’t changed much since I saw them last) but Nathaniel and his sister Hannah looked so different! I couldn’t believe my eyes when Nathaniel came down the stairs! He’s so much taller and tanned and his voice has gotten deeper! Hannah was only a little baby when I saw her last. She has grown into a beautiful young woman. I had a lot of fun with them that day! Hannah, Tracy, mom and I had a girls day. We went to Signal Hill, my Great Uncle Herbie’s shop in Petty Harbour, the Petty Harbour Museum, Chafe’s Landing for lunch and then the Village Mall! Then we came back to my house for a BBQ.

During the first week of August, my mom, dad, niece and I took our brand new trailer up to Butterpot Park for a week. The weather wasn’t that great, but we made the best of it! We played lots of board and card games in the trailer! On days when it was nice out we went walking around the campsites and played badminton! I loved getting to spend a whole week together with my family. We all have such busy schedules it’s hard to find family time these days.

I got to try some new restaurants! I ate out every Tuesday and Thursday before work. A few times this summer I took that opportunity to try something new. I’ve eaten a few times at the new Much Burrito in the Avalon Mall and I tried Pannizza on Kenmount Road last week. They both have delicious food! I highly recommend eating at both places!

I tried out for “Rent”! I am a die hard Renthead (A Renthead is a superfan of the musical “Rent”!) I have “Rent” posters in my bedroom, I memorized the entire show  and have watched the movie and final Broadway performance DVD so many times that I lost count! When I saw on Facebook that “Rent” was going to be TaDa Events’ next production I was so excited that I almost hit the ceiling! I knew this was something I had to try out for! I began rehearsing literally two seconds after seeing the Facebook post! I sang “Out Tonight” every day, multiple times a day! When the big day came, I was excited but also very nervous. We were called in 6 at a time and as I listened to all the others in the room with me I was blown away by how talented they all were! When it was my turn, I was nervous, but I tried not to let it show too much. Once I got going, I had fun! I had a little slip up with the words but I managed to recover quickly and keep going. At the end of it, I felt I did a pretty good job. I hoped I’d be able to get a part in the show. I got an email back a week later saying I didn’t. I was a little disappointed, but I’m not at all ready to give up! I’m going to keep practicing my singing and acting and going to more and more auditions! “Rent” is going to be performed at the Arts and Culture Center March 15th-17th 2018. I’ll be in the audience for sure! Hope to see you there!

Even though summer is over and I’m sad to see it go, there are lots of things I’m looking forward to in the fall. I’ll be starting my second year in the Early Childhood Education program at CONA! I’m excited to see all my friends again, learn lots of new things and do another field placement term (my favorite part of the course!) Also, in a few weeks shallow water fitness will be starting up again at the CBS recreation complex! Mom and I go together twice a week. I love it! It’s lots of fun and great exercise. I’m most looking forward to getting back to my voice/piano lessons with Peter Halley! I can’t wait to learn new songs and how to transpose music! I also can’t wait to give Frenchy (Peter’s golden doodle) lots of cuddles!! I hope you all had a fantastic summer too and that the coming months bring lots of good things your way! What was the highlight of your summer? Tell me in the comments!

Leah

ACC And Me


Hey blog world! I realized that lately on my blog, I’ve brought up Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum a few times, but I haven’t really gone into much detail about it. I thought today I’d talk about that and how it affects me.

Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum basically means that I haven’t got a Corpus Callosum. I was born without it! The Corpus Callosum is a wide band of fibres that connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain and facilitates communication between the two. It is the largest collection of white matter within the brain and has a very high myelin count. Myelin is a fatty coating around the nerves that helps information travel faster.

What I find really interesting is, after genetic testing it’s been discovered that neither mom nor dad carried any kind of gene relating to this (or my Aspergers (for those of you who don’t already know, I’m on the Autism Spectrum.)) so I’m, as Dad says “One of the X-Men”! I carry a “mutant” gene that no one else in my family has and it’s given me super powers (a heightened sense of hearing (blessing and a curse!) and an incredible memory are just a few examples of some of the awesome traits of my Aspergers! ) I think that’s cool!

One way that having no Corpus Callosum has affected me is I have low muscle tone and some trouble with balance. When I was younger, I went to physical therapy once a week at the Janeway to help with increasing my strength and muscle tone. Now that I’m older, I’m pretty sure all the heavy lifting at work does the trick!

The biggest way that it affects me is my fine motor skills are not the best! Thanks to occupational therapy I have improved in a lot of areas (using a knife, tying my shoes) but one thing that hasn’t improved (and I’m not sure ever will!) is my handwriting. As all my friends who have ever received a homemade card from me know, it resembles that of a toddler!! I try my best to make my writing legible but it’s very difficult. Making homemade cards is the only time that I ever write! At school, for note taking and test writing I use a computer!

If you have any questions about Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum, I’m more than happy to answer them! I’m very open about it and love educating people and spreading awareness!

Leah

Pannizza


Hey blog world! Another workday, another takeout lunch! This week I’ve been craving pizza like you wouldn’t believe! I decided to satisfy that craving this afternoon and try out a new pizza place called Pannizza that opened up recently on Kenmount Road. I’d heard a lot about it and was eager to give it a try!

I got inside and liked the look of the place. The pictures of food on the walls made me hungry! The red and black color scheme of the restaurant was nice. The coolest thing about the decor was the word wall. All along the entire back wall of the restaurant words were written on the wall, pepperoni, mozzarella, all the different pizza ingredients and other things. img_0467

I love how friendly the staff are! When I walked up to the counter, the employee working there (whose name I unfortunately forgot to ask, but he knows who he is!) welcomed me to the restaurant with a big smile on his face and made small talk about the weather. Throughout the entire process of crafting my pizza he was very pleasant. I asked him a question (how much would it cost for me to swap the fountain drink in my combo for a bottle of juice?) and he didn’t know the answer off the top of his head and for that he apologized and said he was new, then he went to get the manager. It was very courteous of him to apologize for not knowing, but I thought nothing of it! Like he said, he’s new! Not everyone has everything perfect right away when they are starting at a new job. If this post makes its way to him, I have this to say. You did an excellent job today! Keep up the great work!

When I got to the counter I was pleased to see that Pannizza operated like Subway! All the ingredients were laid out in front of me and I could pick and choose what I wanted! Restaurants like that are my favorite! They have fresh ingredients, they offer so much variety and something for everybody and it’s really neat to watch your food made in front of you! I also liked that Pannizza offered their own recipes off the menu as well for people who don’t feel like customizing a pizza. They also offer salads, sandwiches and poutines which you can customize or select one of their recipes from the menu! Again, I love how much variety they have here!

One of the things I was most pleased to see on the menu was gluten free crust!!!! Having been gluten intolerant myself (I grew out of it around age 15) and having a niece who is, I know how hard gluten-free items are to come by in restaurants so well done Pannizza!!

While there is a lot of variety in the menu options and loads of different ingredients to put on your pizza, salad, poutine, etc. there is one thing I was sad to see was missing. My favorite pizza topping is black olives. I was disappointed that they weren’t an option to put on my pizza. I’m hoping that they will soon change that and add black olives.

When my pizza was finished cooking (which by the way took only 2 minutes. Wow!) I was offered a combo, a bag of chips and a fountain drink to go with my pizza. I decided to go for it, but, as I said above, I asked to swap the fountain drink for a bottle of juice (I gave up soft drinks a few years ago). Most restaurants charge $1 or a little more to swap soda for juice, but Pannizza only charges 50 cents! That’s absolutely fantastic! My overall total today came to $12.88 which I think is a very reasonable price.

For my chips, I picked a bag of harvest cheddar Sun Chips. On their chip shelf they had a few bags of those and bags of baked original Lays. I thought it was great that they had these slightly healthy chips.

This is what my custom pizza looked like! It was a 7″ pizza with white crust, pulled pork, steak, tomato, mushroom, onion, green pepper, roasted red pepper, cheese and tomato sauce.

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It was delicious! The crust was crispy, just the way I like it. The sauce was zesty and the cheese was melted to perfection! The steak and the pulled pork were cooked perfectly too. A little chewy, but not too much. They had a smoky taste. I liked that. I loved the red pepper! Roasting it really accentuated  the flavor! Yum! The rest of the veggies were very good as well. Using fresh vegetables really makes a big impact on the taste.

A few minutes into my meal, the employee who made my pizza came over and asked how everything was! Huge customer service points for this!!! You never see that in fast food places! I was so pleased to see that happen here!

Also as I ate my meal I jammed out to the awesome music they had playing over the radio! I don’t know who picked it out for the day but whoever did has excellent taste in music! “Try” by P!nk, “One Week” by the Barenaked Ladies, “My Church” by Maren Morris and so many other great songs were played while I ate!

I had a fabulous experience at Pannizza today. Reasonable prices, fresh ingredients, friendly staff, everything about today’s visit was excellent! I will most certainly be back and I recommend that you eat here as well! Pannizza on Kenmount Road gets 9/10 stars!

Leah